Review: The House of Pleasure

Review: The House of PleasureThe House of Pleasure (The Scandal Sheet, #6) by Jess Michaels
Series: The Scandal Sheet #6
Published by Passionate Pen Genres: Historical
Goodreads
four-half-stars

 

FINAL DECISION: One of my favorites in this series. I loved how Hannah and Duncan both are dreading their marriage and end up finding something special together. The book is short, but with the quick setup, the story ends up working. For such a sexy book, the romance is pretty sweet.

THE STORY: Hannah Blankenship is desperate as her father has done what he has long threatened — made a contract to marry her off to a loathsome man. Deciding to subvert her father’s wishes, Hannah goes to the Donville Masquerade to find a man to rid her of her virginity. Hannah meets a compelling stranger and she accomplishes her goal. The next day, however, she is shocked to find out that Duncan Cavendish is the man she has been engaged to — and he also happens to be the stranger she met the night before.

OPINION: This was a sexy and sweet romance. It is a novella so the story is more condensed, but this one worked for me. I really enjoyed the connection between Hannah and Duncan and how they navigate their relationship.

Hannah is a strong woman who is going to take control of her own life. The story is well written and fast-paced which makes this a good quick read. This book has several tropes which I especially like — finding a stranger to get rid of pesky virginity and then that guy is not a stranger, marriage of convenience with a bargain (these two agree to sexual relationship without feelings) that goes wrong, and a marriage in trouble (as the bargain backfires on both of them).

This was an easy and enjoyable read.

WORTH MENTIONING: I loved the integration of characters from previous books who are important here including Sophie and Rowan, and, of course, Marcus.

CONNECTED BOOKS: THE HOUSE OF PLEASURE is the sixth and final novella in the Scandal Sheets series. The story is a standalone but there are appearances from characters from other novellas in the series.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.

four-half-stars

Review: Guarding the Countess

I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Review: Guarding the CountessGuarding the Countess (The Scandal Sheet, #5) by Jess Michaels
Series: The Scandal Sheet #5
Published by Passionate Pen on September 3, 2019
Genres: Historical
Pages: 79
Goodreads
four-half-stars

FINAL DECISION: Enjoyable interplay between the characters made this completely satisfying for me (even though I’m not a fan of novellas). The new relationship combined with the angst and history between the other two worked great here.

THE STORY: Naomi Barnaby, Countess of Walridge has turned to two men to find out she is just unlucky of whether someone is killing her husbands. Her third one has just died and Naomi is sure that something is wrong. Captain Marcus Ridgeway and Everett Bryant, Marquis of Glenmarrow take Naomi’s case but things heat up between the three of them immediately. While Marcus and Everett are both attracted to Naomi, there is lingering tension between the two of them that also must be resolved.

OPINION: I really enjoyed this story. There was an interesting balance between the unresolved feelings and long term relationship between Marcus and Everett and the entirely new relationship that happens when Naomi comes into the guys lives. Especially in a novella, it is difficult to develop intense emotional relationships because of the short length. I thought the angsty difficulties between Marcus and Everett was the highlight of the story. I would have read a full length novel about these two. Naomi is a nice catalyst to force the guys to finally resolve their relationship.

This is my favorite of this series and the one that I would definitely read again.

WORTH MENTIONING: This is a MMF menage romance.

CONNECTED BOOKS: GUARDING THE COUNTESS is the fifth book in the Scandal Sheet series. These books are really only connected by the theme so each can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

four-half-stars

Review: My Fair Viscount

I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Review: My Fair ViscountMy Fair Viscount (The Scandal Sheet, #4) by Jess Michaels
Series: The Scandal Sheet #4
Published by Passionate Pen on July 9th 2019
Genres: Historical
Pages: 84
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION: A reversed Pygmalion/My Fair Lady, this novella is short but I enjoyed the intensity between these characters. I wanted more but the length is limiting. It is a nice quick summer read with a great premise and interesting and hot interactions between the hero and heroine.

THE STORY: David Shaw was raised in the rookeries, but when his cousin finds out that David is the rightful heir to his father’s title, David needs polishing to take his place in the aristocracy. Miss Rose Higgins is hired to teach David all the polishing and skills he needs. Quickly, however, Rose and David quickly find a lot of heat between them even though David’s place in society means that there is no possible future for them.

OPINION: I enjoyed the story although the abbreviated nature meant that I didn’t feel that this story had the depth that I prefer. That negative, however, was offset by the great premise (although I would have liked to have seen more of David’s progression). These two were so nice together that I found the story in the end satisfying. The book is a quick read, and perfect for an afternoon by the pool.

David grew up in the rookery and made himself a place in the hells of London. When it is discovered that he is the rightful Viscount Shaw, David finds himself in an uncomfortable place. He lacks the manners, understanding and skills needed to navigate in society. The reasons for agreeing to take on the position of Viscount is part of his secrets. David also has things to learn about his own past that chance his life.

Rose is a woman who has taken the mantle of manners and propriety to make a life for herself and to protect herself from her past. When she is unexpectedly asked to teach the new Viscount Shaw what is needed to make his debut, Rose doesn’t expect that David will challenge her entire world.

This was an enjoyable story and my only complaint is that I wanted more of these characters.

WORTH MENTIONING: This is novella length story and thus the characters and the story are not as developed as a full length novel.

CONNECTED BOOKS: MAY FAIR VISCOUNT is the fourth book in the Scandal Sheet series. This book can be read as a standalone as the books are only loosely connected.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own

four-stars

Review: Lady No Says Yes

I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Review: Lady No Says YesLady No Says Yes (The Scandal Sheet Book 3) by Jess Michaels
Series: The Scandal Sheet #3
Published by Passionate Pen on May 7 2019
Genres: Historical
Goodreads
three-stars

 

FINAL DECISION: This is a nice story, but I wanted more time with the characters to more fully develop their relationship.

THE STORY: Sophie is an heiress known as “Lady No” because she always refuses all advances by men including dancing and carriage rides. When the Scandal Sheet raises the issue of Sophie becoming a spinster, Sophie’s aunt challenges Sophie to say “yes” for a Season. Rowan Sinclair inheritance is taken from him by his brother who has now become Earl. Lady No’s change of mind seems to be an opportunity for Rowan to capture an heiress and solve his problems.

OPINION: I liked the setup for this book. The short length does not allow the story to be as developed as I often wanted while reading this story. The situation seems well designed to have plenty of angst and drama, but the novella length forces things to happen too quickly.

I liked what I had in this book, but I wanted more. More of Rowan and Sophie together, more of the sexy bits, more of the drama and development of their emotional connection.

I did like the book, but I probably wouldn’t think to read it again.

WORTH MENTIONING: This book is a short novella.

CONNECTED BOOKS: LADY NO SAYS YES is the third book in the Scandal Sheet series. This book can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3 stars.

NOTE: I received an eARC of this book via Netgalley. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

 

three-stars

Review: Stealing the Duke

Review: Stealing the DukeStealing the Duke (The Scandal Sheet Book 2) by Jess Michaels
Series: The Scandal Sheet #2
Published by Passionate Pen on 5th March 2019
Genres: Historical
Goodreads
four-half-stars

 

FINAL DECISION: A beauty and the beast inspired book, I loved Marianne and Alexander’s interactions. A quick start to their relationship because of the length of the novel has to be overlooked, but I enjoyed watching their relationship develop.

THE STORY: Lady Marianne’s world is destroyed when her father dies and it is revealed that her father, the earl, was stealing items. Now Marianne has discovered one more stolen item but when she seeks to return it in secret she is discovered by¬†Alexander Wittingham, Duke of Avondale. Alexander makes Marianne a scandalous offer.

OPINION: I enjoyed the really hot, hot story of Alexander and Marianne. The beauty and the beast vibe was good and the story had a nice twist on the story.

Marianne is a young woman who takes her life into her own hands to overcome what her father has left her. I really appreciated that she is definitely not a victim in this book. Instead, she agrees to the sexual relationship with Alexander as a way of gaining control of her life.

Alexander is a man scarred both on the outside and on the inside. Because of his past, Alexander has walled himself off from others. He attempts to compartmentalize and control his attraction to Marianne (the attempt which, of course, is a total failure).

While this story lacks the length and depth of a full length novel, I appreciated that the focus is kept primarily on the couple rather than all the potential drama around them.

This was a quick read and enjoyable.

WORTH MENTIONING: This is a novella not a full length book.

CONNECTED BOOKS: STEALING THE DUKE is the second book in the Scandal Sheet series. This book can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

 

four-half-stars

Review: The Return of Lady Jane

I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Review: The Return of Lady JaneThe Return of Lady Jane (The Scandal Sheet, #1) by Jess Michaels
Series: The Scandal Sheet #1
Published by The Passionate Pen on January 8, 2019
Genres: Historical
Pages: 98
Goodreads
four-stars

 

FINAL DECISION: I enjoyed that the hero eventually had to prove himself to Jane in the end. Although the villain and his purpose was obvious from the start, the book shines in its development of the relationship between Jane and Colin.

THE STORY: Lady Jane Wharton was married and bitterly disappointed the same day. She married Colin after a long courtship, but after a passionate afternoon after their wedding ceremony, he banished her to the country. Now Jane has returned and despite Colin’s coldness, he cannot seem to keep away from her. Jane is determined to claim her husband and find out what is keeping them apart.

OPINION: I enjoyed this short read. I wasn’t sure I was going to like the hero since he is easily manipulated by the villain. It was obvious to me what was happening and I found the hero’s inability to see that annoying. Of course, this villain, like Iago in Othello is too easily manipulated by his inability to trust. At least, there is some explanation for his lack of trust. Colin and Jane are just beginning their relationship as the book begins (since their marriage was arranged rather than a love match).

Although the mystery of what drove Colin and Jane apart is quickly settled, that didn’t bother me at all because I was happy that this book is really about their reconciliation and not the plot of what happened in the past.

My favorite part of the book is when the truth comes out and these two have to find a way to save their marriage. That portion of the book which is just Colin and Jane is sweet and emotional. I loved the entire last section of the book.

This book is not as complex as others that Michaels has written primarily because of the length. However, the second part of this book which depends primarily on the emotional connection between the characters elevated this story for me.

I enjoyed this short read and look forward to more in this series.

WORTH MENTIONING: This book, and indeed each book in this series, is a novella. This book is about 100 pages.

CONNECTED BOOKS: THE RETURN OF LADY JANE is the first book in the Scandal Sheet series.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

 

four-stars